Hair isn’t just a big thing for a woman, it’s one of the major factors in making a woman achieve her perfect look! And in a world where more emphasis is placed on appearances rather than personality or even attitude, every woman is willing to do all in her power and within her means to have that amazing look from head to toe! With the fast growing industry of synthetic hair, women now have a variety of styles to choose from: keep their hair natural, have it straightened through the use of chemical treatments, add weaves, wigs, braids etc.
The media has set straight and silky hair to be the benchmark for beautiful hair. The silkier hair looks, the prettier a woman is. And many African girls have been caught up in wrong advice and myths about the nature and beauty of their ethnic hair.
We are embarking on a three part series in which I will share some advice on how to take care of your hair but in order to learn something new, it’s best to first unlearn the wrong beliefs and ways of doing things. I will begin this series of posts by demystifying some very popular myths about African hair :
Myth 1: Black Hair doesn’t grow
Black hair in its natural state has a tendency to shrink up, preventing you from seeing its real length, leading to the popular belief that it doesn’t grow long. While everyone has a predetermined hair length that’s due to genetics, with proper care, you can grow your hair as long as it is destined to be and you don’t need a relaxer or perm to do so! A relaxer straightens your curls so that you can see length more easily, but the chemicals in it do not promote hair growth.
Myth 2: Washing hair frequently will cause it to break
Washing hair with shampoos that has added chemicals (sulphates) can cause hair dryness. So these must be avoided, however, black hair loves water; not washing the hair can cause the sebum (the scalp’s natural oils) to be blocked. This in turn will make the hair dry and brittle. Things that damage black hair include bleaching, colouring, styling and excess heat. Washing hair twice or three times per week will not damage hair.
Myth 3: Relaxing hair make it grow faster
Natural hair has a curly pattern, when the hair is stretched it may seem to appear longer, but in fact it is not. This is what happens when hair is relaxed as well. The hair is stretched out to its maximum, like stretching a rubber band. However, this leads to reduces elasticity, which is the hair’s natural ability to go back to its original shape without breaking. Hair that lacks elasticity is very susceptible to breakage.
Myth 4: Black hair is the strongest type of hair
Unfortunately no, black hair is actually the weakest of all hair types. Black hair has a fragile internal structure which makes it more susceptible to breakage due to the dry nature of the follicle.
I hope that these few points have successfully shed some light on the true nature of African hair and have set the stage for part 2 of these series coming up next week, in which I will share some exciting info on how to care for your hair; what to do and what to avoid doing.
Until then, keep loving your hair!
Credit of portions of this post to: